WhatsApp, encrypted backups are coming: here’s how they work

WhatsApp is ready to release an important update that will allow users to encrypt chat backups: anticipated a few months ago, the news will be made available over the next few weeks to iOS and Android users. The solution, which is described in a whitepaper released by Facebook, aims to protect message backups that are stored in the cloud, be it Google Drive or iCloud, from prying and malicious eyes.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said: “WhatsApp is the first global messaging service on this scale to offer end-to-end encrypted messages and backups and getting there was a really tough technical challenge that required an entirely new framework for key archiving and cloud archiving between operating systems “.

When the user chooses to encrypt their backups, they will need to save a 64-digit encryption key or create a password linked to the key. When the password is created, WhatsApp stores the associated key in a physical hardware security module (HSM), which is managed by Facebook and unlocked only when the correct password is entered on WhatsApp. At this point, the correctly unlocked HSM provides the encryption key that decrypts the backup stored on Google or Apple’s servers.

The HSM is located in Facebook’s datacenters around the world to ensure continuity of service. If repeated, incorrect, password entry attempts occur, the HSM will become permanently inaccessible. Likewise, if you opt to manually save the 64-digit encryption key and lose it, the backup will no longer be accessible. However, it is still possible to reset the password if you have forgotten it. The basic idea is that it is guaranteed that only the account owner and no one else can access a backup.

The ability to use encrypted backup will only be for the user’s primary device, despite recent multi-device support.

September 11 – 20 years ago the attack on the Twin Towers

It is 8.46 in the morning twenty years ago. At that moment, the first of four flights hijacked by Al Qaeda terrorists crosses the New York sky at full speed and crashes into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Thus began September 11, the day of the attack that would have led to the collapse of the Twin Towers, causing the death of 2,997 people and changing history. Here are all the stages that marked that day.

It is 5.45 am when hijackers Mohammed Atta and Abdulaziz al-Omari evade security checks at Portland airport on their way to Boston. Here, along with three other terrorists, they board American Airlines Flight 11 to Los Angeles, carrying 92 people. The five take control of the plane which, three hours later, will crash into the center of New York: the impact will occur between the 93rd and 99th floors of the North skyscraper at a speed of 710 kilometers per hour.

A few minutes later, United Airlines 175, also departed from Boston and hijacked by five other men, crashes into the South Tower, between the 77th and 85th floors, at 870 kilometers per hour. It is 9.03 am and the impact takes place live on TV. After the first violent impact, in fact, the world’s media cameras are aimed at the World Trade Center in search of news for what, at least initially, appears to be an accident. A hypothesis that, in the face of the second crash, will however soon be set aside in favor of that of the attack.

Just half an hour later, the script repeats itself and Al Qaeda hits its third target: at 9.37 am American Airlines Flight 77, departing from Dulles International Airport in Washington with destination Los Angeles, hits the Pentagon, the headquarters of the American Defense Department , in Virginia. The attack caused the collapse of the west facade of the building and the death of 189 people in total: 125 inside the structure plus the 64 passengers on the flight, including the five terrorists responsible for the hijacking.

Meanwhile, upon becoming aware of the hijackings and the following coordinated attacks, the Federal Aviation Administration issues an order to block all civilian aircraft within the borders of the United States and orders those already in flight to land immediately. In an instant, at 10.42 am, all international civil air traffic is banned from landing in the United States. The block will remain in effect for three days.

It is now 10.00 in the morning in New York, and while it is becoming clear that it is a terrorist act, one of the Twin Towers, the one facing south, collapses on itself and crashes to the ground in front of the cameras of the whole world. Only an hour has passed since the moment of impact but the impact was so strong that it compromised the structural strength of the building and less than half an hour later, precisely at 10.28, the same fate will befall the North Tower. Some of the surrounding buildings are also damaged, one of which will collapse after 12.30, and for several minutes there have been scenes of people, trapped in the flames, who throw themselves into the void in desperation, rather than die charred or intoxicated. . The police speak of thousands of dead and injured: by the end of the day there will be 2,606 victims under the rubble of the World Trade Center.

But Al Qaeda’s plan is not yet fully realized. And in fact it never will be. About 30 minutes after the attack on the Pentagon, news arrives of a fourth and last aircraft involved in the offensive: a few hours earlier it left Newark airport, near New York, to head to San Francisco but the terrorists they presumably took control of it with the intent of turning to Washington to hit the seat of Congress. In a gesture that will become the subject of film scripts, the passengers of the Boeing 757 manage to get the better of the commando and crash the plane in Shanksville, in the countryside of Pennsylvania.

In addition to the images broadcast worldwide, the reaction of George W. Bush, who became president of the United States eight months earlier, remains a symbolic scene of the 9/11 attacks. Bush Jr. is in an elementary school classroom in Florida when the presidential chief of staff approaches him and whispers that a second plane has also hit the Twin Towers. The president decides to stay in the class and read the story of the goat with the children. “His face changed color,” said former student Mariah Williams ten years later. “We realized that something bad was happening.”

ROOM9 – Rollercoaster (feat. Big Boy)

LYRIC

I wanna feel myself
Take me to another world
Beam me home
I am scared of the deep end but I don’t know if I wanna be alone.
But I think I lost my mind.
I don’t want to seem that crazy but I don’t why
I just want someone to save but bring me back to life.

I wanna dance with someone can you help me?
I wanna dance with someone can you help me? I wanna dance with someone can you help me?
I wanna dance with someone can you help me?

It’s all in my mind, it’s all in my mind, it’s all in my mind, it’s all in my mind.
It’s all in my, it’s all in my mind, it’s all in my, it’s all in my mind.

Take me on your rollercoaster so we can get higher
I just wanna be your babe but I don’t know what to say yet

I don’t want to seem that crazy but I don’t why
I just want someone to save but bring me back to life.

I wanna dance with someone can you help me?
I wanna dance with someone can you help me?
I wanna dance with someone can you help me?
I wanna dance with someone can you help me?

It’s all in my mind, it’s all in my mind, it’s all in my mind, it’s all in my mind.
It’s all in my, it’s all in my mind, it’s all in my, it’s all in my mind.
Little did I know I need somebody I need somebody
I need somebody yeah…
Little did I know I need somebody
I need somebody to dance tonight.

I wanna dance with someone can you help me?
I wanna dance with someone can you help me?
I wanna dance with someone can you help me?
I wanna dance with someone can you help me?

It’s all in my mind, it’s all in my mind, it’s all in my mind, it’s all in my mind.
It’s all in my, it’s all in my mind, it’s all in my, it’s all in my mind.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #165: Going Wide — P.A. Moed

View life through a wide angle lens attitude and see your horizons broaden.― Stephen Richards When we travel, I always take my favorite lens (18 to 55mm), which gives me a range of shooting options, including wide angle images. What’s a wide angle lens? It’s any lens that is below 35 mm on a crop-sensor camera […]

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #165: Going Wide — P.A. Moed